SINGAPORE: The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) said on Wednesday (Oct 28) it has suspended one of its bus drivers from driving duties after a collision with a motorcyclist at the State Courts.
Traffic safety measures at the location have also been enhanced, the SPS and State Courts told CNA.
The accident on Sep 24 took place at the driveway of the State Courts. The bus driver had entered the driveway via the exit lane instead of the entry lane in order to access a secured vehicle drop-off point. At the same time, a motorcyclist was turning from the basement car park into the exit lane.
"Both the SPS bus driver and motorcyclist were unable to stop in time, resulting in the collision," said SPS and the State Courts in separate responses to questions from CNA.
The motorcyclist, a 31-year-old woman, was conscious when taken to the hospital and was discharged after treatment.
Police investigations are ongoing.
Photos of the accident published by The Online Citizen last week showed the prison bus facing the opposite direction at the exit lane of the driveway.
“Due to the length of the vehicles and tight turning radius, arrangements had been made with the State Courts for SPS buses to use the exit lane when accessing the secured vehicle drop-off point,” said SPS.
The State Courts said this is an interim arrangement while the new Family Justice Courts building at the site of the former State Courts building is under construction.
"When the construction is completed, the entry and exit points for security vehicles will be relocated," it said.
An SPS officer is deployed to the area to direct traffic when SPS buses have to use the exit lane. At the time of the accident, however, the officer was "occupied with supervising the disembarkation of persons-in-custody" from another bus at the drop-off point, said SPS.
"However, the SPS bus driver involved in the accident proceeded to drive towards the drop-off point and at the same time, a motorcyclist exited the restricted basement car park and was turning onto the same exit lane," said SPS.
After the accident, the driver got off the bus to check on the motorcyclist. A State Courts security officer who was stationed nearby called for an ambulance and the police.
“SPS places a high level of importance on workplace safety both within and outside SPS’ premises,” said the prison service, adding that the bus driver has since been suspended from driving duties, pending investigations.
ENHANCED SAFETY MEASURES
Following the incident, additional safety protocols have been put in place to prevent a similar accident from happening, said the State Courts.
This includes stationing an additional officer at the area to direct large vehicles to the drop-off point. Traffic cones will also be used to block vehicles from exiting the restricted basement car park when there are large vehicles entering the drop-off point.
“The secured vehicle drop-off point is an interim arrangement, while a permanent drop-off point with a separate entry and exit point that can accommodate large vehicles such as the SPS bus is being built,” said the prison service.